Company information in the U.K. is held at Companies House, the official government register for U.K. businesses. Companies House incorporates and dissolves businesses and makes information about U.K. companies available to the public. Register your company's name through Companies House when you set up your business.
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Search your prospective company name to make sure it is not already in use in the U.K. You can use the Companies House website search (see Resources) to check for names already in use.
Check whether your company name contains any restricted or forbidden language. Certain words, considered offensive or misleading, cannot be used. Check the Companies House list of "Prescribed" words (see Appendix A of the Reference link below), "Sensitive" words (see Appendix B) and words governed by specific legislation (Appendix C). You'll need permission, generally from a governmental entity, to include a word or phrase from these lists.
Certain words must be used for certain types of businesses. Private limited companies must generally have "limited," "ltd" or the Welsh equivalent of "cyfyngedig" or "cyf" in the name. Pubic limited companies must end their names with "plc" or "public limited company" (or use the Welsh equivalents of "cwmni cyfyngedig cyhoeddus" or "ccc"). See Chapter 2 of the Reference link below.
Complete the forms necessary to incorporate your company. This includes the Form IN01--Application To Register A Company, the Memorandum of Association and the Articles of Association. If your name includes a prescribed word, then also include your permission from the body controlling the use of the word.
Submit the forms, along with the filing fee noted on your application form, to Companies House. This address will vary based on the area where your U.K. business is located. Submissions can also be made online by purchasing incorporation software from an approved source (see Resources).
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